Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Fall tablescape series. What style are you?

I have had a lot of people asking me questions about various things and aspects of my life as I write this blog and run my shop. People, myself included are inherently curious about how other people live. I think the success of shows like Housewives and the Kardashian clan prove that. I don't watch them but it would be impossible to be a human that does groceries and not know at least the names of these people.
With curiosity also leads to conversations and emails about what would I do with these items if I take them home?

I found the most amazing plates at the thrift store but they don't match.....

I don't have a huge budget to do a whole room makeover just because family is coming but I want my space to look nice.......

Now in Canada our Thanksgiving is next weekend. We celebrate with family and friends next weekend while the leaves are beginning to turn. There are festivals to attend and good weather to enjoy and then we eat.

Part of the fun of having family over for me is setting the table and putting that little bit of special into a meal.

Everyone has different tastes, different levels of time and commitment to setting up a table. Some people need space to put food on the table, others like my family have a buffet setup so that we walk our plates to the table (this means I don't need as much space on the table for platters) Some people also need to take in to consideration the people sitting at the table like kiddos or klutzy family members.

As people have been talking to me about setting tables at the shop, once some really great table runners and chargers appeared with the fall stock, I had a brain wave.
What about doing some different fall tables capes on the blog to share some different styles and how little or lot you can add to get your style.

Now even though you don't necessarily need to buy a whole stock of new items, sometimes you can just pull from other decor in your house, you do need some basic items like plates, glasses, utensils, tealights or tapers.

I have done 3 completely different looks for you using my dining room as a test bunny.
The room itself doesn't change, just the items on the table and you can see over the next few days how different pieces can completely give your room a different feel.

Today's look is called 

Rustic Farmhouse

This look is simple and natural looking. I used a black stripe linen runner that is easily washable and layered with zinc look plastic charger plates. Trevor and I were gifted a set of charger plates when we were first married and still use them 10 years later. We have 2 wood ones that stay out on the table for regular meals that we can just plop our plates on for weeknight dinners. Having one set of neutral chargers can elevate any dinner from regular to special and they usually contain messy eater droppings as well.

I used mismatched taper candle holders with black candles for the season. No one says all of your things need to match. Just have a theme in mind and go to it. Now taper candles do NOT scream little people at the table but this could easily be changed out for battery pillars or smaller tealights or even candles under cloches designed to keep little fingers and table bumpers safe.

As much as I love fresh floral centrepieces sometimes I don't always have a good selection growing in my garden or have time to get to the store or the grocery store only has filler flowers that are just not looking so hot. For thanksgiving you can always use a natural coloured branch or head to the produce aisle and grab some interesting gourds or squash. I used a fall cotton wreath and plopped a squash in the middle and sidled our brass moose up next to it and corraled it all on a cheese board.

And in case you were really looking close you will see that the plates don't even match in this setting. They have the same colour tones but it adds some interest and you can find some great designs anywhere from antique stores, thrift stores to Homesense.

I like to add a little quirk to every table and in this case the squirrel salt and pepper shakers provide a little bit of conversation.

Well enjoy your day all and see you tomorrow for COUNTRY GLAM


Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Fall Mantel 2015

Good morning.

So I am pretty excited about some posts I am getting ready to write for this little here blog of mine. I have been taking lots of photos to get a fall home tour up, better late than never. I can no longer join in on the fun of the super bloggers getting their seasonal posts up like magazines 3 weeks prior to anyone else starting as my darn human properties require me to sleep at least 6 hours a night and I am just plain running out of daylight to get things done. I have to admit I don't actually mind the getting dark earlier thing as it just makes little joys like lighting the candles, dining room dinners and late night music listening a bit more fun.

I think it's part of my night owl nature to enjoy the dark. 
I have also been working on 2 series for the blog, 1 about dining and tablescaping and another on couches.
You're hooked already right?

Today I am sharing what our fall mantel looks like for the season.
I say it every year but our home never looks better than in the fall. The lovely tigers just shine with all the golds and earth tones.

Ok all you minimalists, get ready to cringe, here come the fall layers.


i had to sneak the back view of this demijohn into the mantel shoot. an honest to goodness amber demijohn. just what until you see it in the table vignette. love!

Have a great day everyone,


Thursday, October 1, 2015

Getting back to my eclectic self, fall decorating and cool weather causing planteritis

Good morning friends near and far.

I am starting my fall tours a bit backwards today. But there's a reason. So instead of the main floor which is coming, we are visiting upstairs first.

So as the weather changes, we flip the calendar pages and we move indoors, start monkeying with our decor, putting the seashells away and ripping out the wools and furs, I often find that although I am almost finished for the season with the outdoor gardening manual labour I am full of ideas for new planters inside.

I know what you're thinking, she changes her pillows and her plants? Oy!

Well yes I do in fact as some of the plants that were inside and flowering for the summer are either done or have that blue fern motif that doesn't really go with my more eclectic fall taste.

As much as I really love summer, fall is my favourite season to decorate for. I think I've said that already.

So in my upstairs hallway I turned off my blogger switch and brought out a lot of our african artifacts. Forget the white and pretty and perfect non cluttered vignette. I'm getting my ethnographic collecting on up here.

Trevor was home the day I was digging out some of our treasures, most of which we have had since our first and second year of marriage (a few years ago, wink wink), and I kept hearing
where was that
i forgot we had that
do you remember where we found that

yes dear, yes i do.

i took the green grain sack hanging down and replaced it with our very long original kubu cloth. the colours set the tone with the rug. 
while i was at it i pulled out our beer baskets and a few pieces of bronze.

i plopped some african porcupine quills in an old jar and stood a galvanized drawer on its end for a riser

to my indoor gardening obsessions. i turned a copper bowl into a fall styled succulent planter and used a wood bowl we bought in jamaica to elevate a xerographic air plant.
the inside africa book is one of my favourites but because of the haywire colour of the cover i don't always keep it on display. i'm happy to have looked through it again and have it out on display for awhile.

i found these succulent almost trees that i used in some of the shop planters and snaff-ooed one for this bowl. you can see how it kind of grows out the side of the bowl. i think that seems like whimsy to me.

yesterday in between cleaning teeth (my other business venture)  i hauled it over to another wholesaler i was looking into and found not only the hunted xerographic air plants but some awesome grinchy junipers and tiny eugenia topiaries.
ooh baby. my fingers were itching the rest of the afternoon and not because they were in nitrile gloves.

as the title states this post has a few prongs. because i thought to share my home planters in our upstairs hallway, i thought i would also show the ones i made at the shop that inspired my home planters.
i have to say that tree style one growing out of the glass jar just made me smile.

i also got up to some fall planter nonsense and made some combinations in vintage containers. so much colour. i love it.

and this one i even added a touch of gold to.

Well have a good day everyone,


Friday, September 25, 2015

Vibrant flowers and dirt in your sandals

The sunshine just keeps on coming right now in our area.

It was 26 degrees again yesterday. Pool weather I think but alas the calendar states that fall has started and we said goodbye to the official summer a few days ago.

Indian summer it is. We'll take it.

I have visited a few garden centres in the last week or so hunting and thinking about fresh new planters for fall especially at home as my high heat window boxes had about been cooked.

My home planters aren't completely done yet but I made a good start on the ones at the shop yesterday.

I went to Terra Greenhouses on Tuesday while driving around picking things up and I just have to say, I could probably be conned into opening one. They are so clean, have selection and just make you want to go home and plant. One of my other favourites in Waterdown is Connon Nurseries. Between the 2 I never have an issue finding what I need.

However, I didn't pick up everything I needed on Tuesday and tried to finish that task around here and did have a smidgen of issue finding the huge millet I left behind.

I think they turned out pretty good though.

It was a good show at least when I was planting them,  as the ferns that were living in here got massive and as I pulled them out dirt went everywhere including into my shoes so I decided to barefoot it as if I was at home planting.
One of our lovely regular customers showed up as I was planting and I was covered in dirt and sweaty. It was a little embarrassing, no one ever said I was neat doing everything.

i was able to find mums that hadn't opened very much giving them a longer season of colour once it does get cool. container combos include millet, mum, kale,celosia, ornamental peppers x2, crotons x2

i'm hoping to add a second set of planters, and hay and all that good stuff but it needs to cool off before we plop any pumpkins out there. i don't think my landlord and the customers that frequent this building would appreciate the smell of rotting pumpkin.

i have to say the plant of the season for me is this hot pink celosia. i actually found it at a retail store in burlington that is similar to mine but has a garden centre (sigh, one day) and they had loads of it, but i haven't really seen it at any of the garden centres.

i am not a hot pink person at all but it really adds something to the planters to keep them more vibrant looking

and then since i was in a planting mood, i started working on some fall succulent planters. it seems odd to some people that we (i) change my plants according to the season but to me the blue echevarias and pink toned planters don't really suit my fall decor. luckily there are so many varieties of succulents that some even have brown tones and fuzzy petals. they blend right in with all the earth tones, wools and plaids we are all getting ready to take out.

Well have a good day everyone, looks like it's going to be a good one



Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Ikea Hack: Industrial Rekarne Console tables

Oh another wonderful ikea hack.

So a little refresher.

My rules for a tremendous DIY.

Practical once finished.

Last for more than 5 minutes.

Be reasonable but not necessarily dirt cheap (although that is a bonus)

Not look DIY'ed (this may be my most important)

As a home decor lover and eclectic decorator I am always thinking up new ideas and sometimes my creativity gets the best of me. The worst part is sometimes my idea is something I know can be bought but do I really need to drop that amount of money to accomplish said idea, or worse I go crazy hunting down the idea to find out it actually doesn't exist.

When we were getting ready to change the new shelving area around at the shop I had an idea for an 8 foot long console style table. Those go for a lot of money.

That's a no.

We also thought, hmm maybe we could build it.

That was a no too. 
Time fairies haven't granted my wish to add a few hours to the day.

I started hunting through the good old ikea website and came across these console tables in the Rekarne line. Well first I came across the Expedit units on Pinterest which lead to me hunting down the console tables.

This is what these tables look like in original form and to be quite honest, they are pretty great even like this. Solid wood, unfinished treatment. They would be lovely in a bright rustic space but alas my vision.

I knew I wanted them to be white and loved how the concrete turned out in my shop bathroom so thought I would try my hand at that.

I painted the legs and bases all prior to building so that there wouldn't be any paint buildup or missed spots.

I used a skim coat concrete mix from Home Depot and mixed in small batches. On these tables I did 2 and a half coats of of concrete with a heavy sanding with my orbital sander in between from medium to fine grit.

If I was using these in my home and not rushing I would likely have done 4 coats of concrete with a much more meticulous sanding but at the same time I was happy with the rougher look of the tops.

After a lot of drying in between coats I also applied a stone sealer from Home Depot to keep stains at a minimum.

In the end we ended up with what I think to be rustic modern tables that are light in tone but still keep that bit of industrial vibe.
This kind of makeover works great in the shop but would be awesome even as a skinny island or doing this to the end tables/coffee table in a living room.

Well that's it for my DIY today.

Have a great day everyone on this first day of fall


To see my other ikea island hack click here

Monday, September 21, 2015

Around the Shop Fall Edition: Part II

Happy Monday.

What a weekend. For those of you who stopped in the shop you noticed that I may or may not have been present and my sidekick was holding down the fort as Trevor and I went and got ourselves into some picking trouble. This is good kind of trouble of course.

We tested out the waters on a new area and it was kind of enh.
Don't get me wrong we got tons of great stuff for the shop but I'm not sure if I want to have to work so hard to do it. Sometimes you (I) just get a feeling in an area and this one didn't have it. Oh well we have many tried and true and will always discover more great hunting grounds and hopefully our piddly Canadian dollar will buck up a little on the international stage before it becomes useless.

Today we can wander around the back of the shop displays for fall. I'm sure many of them don't look like this anymore as it was a busy weekend I'm told but it's fun to see what they looked like when we started.

Did you miss part 1? See it here

are you seeing these matte black bottles. oh me oh my. these are one of my favourite pieces of giftware that made it in. i don't usually do giftware that looks so vintage but they don't make these in black outside of home decor so they jumped on the list.

mugs galore and we also added these persian rugs i have been collecting on the floor. warms up all the white for this time of year and as the weather changes keeps us from having to wash the floor every 2 minutes.

Have a lovely day everyone.

I'm on paperwork duty (blah), wholesaler chatting, vintage organizing, outdoor planter fallifying and sewing patrol today.